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Home improvement tips to prepare for the summer storm season

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Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:36 am, Sat Jun 21, 2014.

(BPT) - Summer storm season is upon us - and some of those storms can be severe.

Water and storm damage to your home can quickly add up and potentially leave your family in danger, which is why it’s a good idea to conduct a spring checkup of your home. Ed Del Grande is a master contractor and nationally syndicated home improvement expert. He recommends that all homeowners follow these five tips to make sure their homes and yards are ready for wet and stormy weather:

1. Gutters and downspouts – If a gutter fails, it can cause problems with the foundation of your home. Be sure you attach extensions at the base of all downspouts to carry the water away from your home’s foundation. Del Grande recommends a minimum of four feet.

2. Sump pumps – Across much of the country, basements will have sump pumps installed to remove excessive ground water. Get this system checked before the storm season starts. A failed system in the middle of heavy rains could result in a flooded basement, causing damage to the floor, walls and any items stored in the room.

3. Roofing and shingles – Hire a professional roofing contractor to inspect the shingles and roof gutters for any damage that might cause leaks during heavy rains. If heavy or large hail hits your area, ask the inspector to come back to reevaluate the shingles.

4. Standby generator – Summer storms can cause the most damage if you lose electricity. Weather-related power outages have doubled since 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Without electricity, your sump pump will stop, your refrigerator won’t be able to keep your food chilled and your home security system won’t work. To keep your home secured and operating without power, Del Grande recommends installing a permanent standby generator system. A standby generator like those from Kohler is a backup electrical system located on the outside of your home that turns on automatically when power is lost. Standby generators run on propane or natural gas, so they don’t need to be refueled, and they provide quality power that won’t damage appliances or electronics. They can keep all the essentials running – like the sump pump, your heating or air-conditioning, large appliances, lights and the security system, making it possible to protect your home from additional storm damage.

Having backup power is critical for homes with children, the elderly or anyone with special medical needs. If you lose power for a short period of time or several days due to severe storms this summer, a Kohler standby generator will turn your home into an energy oasis in your neighborhood. To learn more about standby power and to determine what size generator best suits your needs, visit KohlerGenerators.com.

5. Landscaping – Trees provide beautiful shade and backyard homes for birds and squirrels, but they can also cause great damage to a home during a storm. Hire an arborist to trim back limbs that hang over the house, or to remove trees completely if they are too close to the home. Broken branches or toppled trees frequently cause power outages and property damage during and following storms.

Severe weather can strike any area of the country, sometimes with little or no warning. If your home is vulnerable to tornados, thunderstorms, hurricanes or heavy rain, use these tips from Del Grande to best prepare your home for whatever Mother Nature sends your way.

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